The Key to Sales Prospecting is to Understand What They Think

Most of my entrepreneur clients, at some point in our coaching relationship, want me to help them refine their marketing plan more clearly. I like to show them how business owners and salespeople alike have the incredible opportunity to auger into the minds of their targets through sales prospecting. Here’s how you can utilize this skill to its fullest potential for your business.

A photo of a sales prospect with an empty thought bubble

What is Prospecting?

Sales prospecting creates new customers for your business by identifying potential clients, vetting them, and contacting them. You begin with a lead, then turn it into a prospect by researching them thoroughly to evaluate the likelihood that they will convert.

After targeting, sales prospecting is the most critical stage of the selling process. Without adequate prospecting, your sales and marketing strategies are like shots in the dark. Lackluster prospecting means wasting time on poorly researched leads who aren’t likely actually to buy what you’re offering.

When you lean into the research phase of sales prospecting, you can tailor your business’s messaging to reach the right customers.

How to Research Prospects Effectively

Even after you’ve done the work to identify your target audience, it is often challenging for business owners to jump into the psyche of their prospects and put themselves on the other side of the transaction. Why? Because we are blinded by our preconceived notions of what works and what doesn’t.

To combat this, our sales prospecting process must involve more viewpoints than our own. First, write down a long list of the fears and frustrations that your prospects may have when they contemplate purchasing your product or service. Ask yourself: what do your prospects worry about? How have they been failed in the past?

Next, interview your employees to validate and expand upon your list. Ask a few of your trusted clients for their input. Seek out the thoughts of your spouse, neighbors, friends, and colleagues.

Typically, your list will differ from your friends or other folks who aren’t emotionally involved in your business. Don’t dismiss what these outsiders have to say. They have an objective, third-party perspective from the marketplace, just like many future clients. The goal is to gather a diverse set of viewpoints.

Then, prioritize your new master list of fears and frustrations from high to low importance. Once you get a broader perspective on how your prospects view your business pitch, you can tailor your message to address their more specific concerns.

Your messaging should emphasize the solutions to the apprehensions you’ve listed. This list can be the basis for your slogan, sales pitch, and unique selling proposition. Your marketing team can then use this info to generate even more leads through your website, email newsletter, and social media, creating a cohesive strategy.

When you can obliterate the conscious concerns of your prospect, your message becomes more effective, and the reasons to choose your business become clear. It’s brilliant and easy to do, provided you dare to ask rather than assume.

Are you interested in refining your market research for sales? A business coach can lend an outside perspective. You can click here to book a free video meeting with me to work on your sales prospecting challenges.

Coach Dave

Dave Schoenbeck
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